Saturday, October 11, 2003

Bio-piracy in the Amazon: "Two Japanese companies, Asahi Foods and Cupuacu International have patented the name for its use in US, European and Japanese markets. Moreover, Britain's The Body Shop has won exclusive rights to the extract of Cupuacu, or Theobroma grandiflorum. While there are many stringent laws to stop bio-piracy, the smuggling of indigenous species to other countries, it seems that nothing is being done to effectively stop legal looting carried out by multinational companies of the richest and most diverse region on Earth.

"It's a robbery,' says Roberto Diniz Viera, finance secretary for Presidente Figueiredo. "It's like us Brazilians going to Japan and patenting an electronic component. It's an international scandal what is happening. It's ours but now we have to pay to use the name."

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